America vs The World
Sounds about right, doesn't it? The US against every single other country in the world! Except, that's not the reality. We have many allies and friends that work diligently to aid us in our endeavors, trade us for goods, and all around help us to be better. We, in turn, do the same for them. It's the nations that we don't see eye to eye with that seem to be at the forefront of our foreign policy. Granted, we should worry more about our enemies than our allies, but are some of these nations truly our enemies, or are they following our example? Take Russia for instance, and Ukraine. What is so different about Russia invading Ukraine to promote their sovereignty (ambiguously defined), then America invading.... well, any of the countries we've invaded over the past century? What's so different about Israel fighting Palestinians, or Chinese trying to bring Taiwan back into their leadership?
The difference, ladies and gentlemen, it's them doing it, not us. Granted, are some of those examples bad for the World and America in general, of course. Is it our business to intervene in every little scuffle on the World stage? Well that's the debate, now isn't it? When do we crush the opposition and when do we let them be? It's tricky, and I don't envy the president, or our military leaders in having to make those decisions. The issue is when bipartisan politics, and biased media try and influence the public into extremism or pacifism, because neither is the correct approach.
Ultimately, any conflict involving other nations, and not the US, is none of our business no matter how much we want it to be. The issue is when do we intercede, and whose side do we take? Well, in a perfect world, the answer would be the good guys. But who are the good guys in Ukraine versus Russia, or Taiwan and China, or Israel and practically all of the Middle East? That depends entirely upon which news network, or report you watch at the time, and why it's such a complicated issue.
My take personally, as the author of this page, is that we should let the World handle it's own affairs, unless it's crimes against humanity, WMD's (legitimate ones not made up ones as an excuse), or any overt/covert threat to the US, her allies, or her citizens abroad are in existence. That should be our foreign policy. Fight to defend humanity, dignity, and freedom, not for profit, oil, and because.
The other half of International Relations
The above photo is a bit of a poke at how Industry with America and other Countries is perceived both by us and other nationalities. Trade is an important and integral part of international relationships, whether or not they are your ally or not. Most Americans would probably agree that China is at best a wary ally, yet, most of our trade is with them, one way or the other. We also trade with Russia and Middle Eastern Countries. The other side of that coin is trade embargoes, which is the non-violent war mongering solution to international disputes, and something we as a nation have employed against Russia and North Korea to remarkable effect.
In the case of Russia, we did it to deter their actions, whether or not you or I agree with them. It worked phenomenally, but does that mean Russia is the bad guy and we need to worry about Russia attacking us? No. Because Diplomacy to include economic trade agreements, are a peaceful means to either forge alliances, or to ease tension, or to reprimand untoward actions or aggression. Now, in the case of North Korea every ounce of trade embargo or military action that we have taken has been to deny them any hope of gaining a foothold of power in the world, because the leaders of that nation would wreak havoc on its neighbors if given the chance. So why haven't we, or the combined forces of an international coalition, wiped them off of the face of the Earth?
That's a second debate in foreign policy and international relations, when is war a necessity, and when is it enough to deprive a nation of its economy? When is too much deprivation hurting the populace (who are presumed innocent) more than the regime it's targeting? Well, the answer is trade embargoes are supposed to by warning lights to stop acting out of line, and if you don't, you will suffer worse consequences. But what if that's not enough, when is war necessary? Well again, personally speaking, war would be necessary when a foreign nation is either unwilling to back down from its' aggression towards you, or towards others. North Korea doesn't have to be hell bent on the destruction of everyone else, but its' leaders choose to be. So who are we to decimate a nation because of the antics of the people in power? Do we have the right to attack anyone because we disagree with them, even if it is arguably justifiable?
The answer is more so not what is the correct option, but what is the option you are willing to live with. Me, personally, I would be able to sleep at night if the US sent in teams of highly skilled soldiers to annihilate the political and military leaders of North Korea. I would whole-heartedly support that. I would not under any circumstances support a full scale invasion, in which, civilian casualties would far surpass the threshold for acceptable losses (zero). Since Russia was the other primary example I gave, I'll give my thoughts on that as well. Russia is doing what Russia has always done and will probably continue to do. However, in the case of Ukraine, Russia and Ukraine aren't doing anything that we, and the British Empire, didn't do in 1776. In my opinion, Ukraine deserves its' sovereignty if the Ukrainian people wish it, and we should support that. However, if Ukraine becomes a state of Russia, again, then that is in no way our business. Some might argue it'd be a huge threat to our safety and security. How?
Ukraine, although a beautiful country, isn't wealthy, or powerful, and is full of unsettled land. True, it is deeper into Europe than Russia is alone, and the natural resources Ukraine possess are considerable, but would it truly put Russia over the edge compared to the might of American war fighting capability? No. Would America win a fight against Russia in the first place? Probably, but it'd escalate into WWIII and nobody would win if that happened, which is largely why it hasn't happened, and why so many countries (with exceptions) try and avoid declarations of war. The point is, we shouldn't look to escalate already tense situations, and blow up every problem that occurs, this no longer Ancient Rome, or Greece. This is the 21st century, and we need to start acting like the evolved, sentient species we claim to be, and the means to do so is being demonstrated all around the World: through unity comes strength, through the people peace and prosperity!